Cases of fraud involving Self-drive/Rental vehicles is increasing. We take a look into how the scam takes place and what can be done to prevent it.
The scammer in question will hire a multi-seat vehicle such as a minibus for a weekend away. The stated purpose of the journey can be a wide number of things but some of the more common journey reasons are; stag do, shopping trip, birthday meal and party. In the majority of fraudulent cases, the destination is never reached…
The driver will claim to both their insurer and the hire/rental company they had a minor accident whilst travelling to their destination. The reason for the accident is often loss of concentration due to spilt food & drink, or distraction from fellow passengers. The scammer can make the claim appear more legitimate by contacting the emergency services at the time of the incident.
A short amount of time following the accident a number of injury claims from passengers of the vehicle or from a third party vehicle are reported to the insurers.
How to avoid it?
- Before the vehicle departs on its trip its best practise to ask the intended purpose/destination. If the prospective hirer is unable to give a clear answer or struggles with the question you should be wary whether they are hiding the true purpose of the hire.
- Tell the hirer before departing that any incident should be reported immediately.
- Check the odometer so it can be compared against the alleged purpose of the trip.
- When the vehicle is returned, take photos regardless of whether any damage has occurred or not.
- Get as much information regarding the accident as possible for example; How it happened, Where, Time, Number of passengers, Any injuries sustained.
- If possible ask for proof whether the stated purpose/destination was reached.
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